Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, May 09, 2014

Knobler: Yankees shifting philosophy on defense

Or as Michael Kay said a few years ago…“You’ll never see the Yankees doing these shifts!” Oh, and a David Grabiner sighting.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt [Cashman] has always worshipped Billy Beane,” one former Cashman employee said, referring to the A’s general manager who was the star of Moneyball. “He’s so enthralled with Billy Beane, it’s unbelievable.”

Beane remains highly regarded in the game, and his A’s continue to win division titles with nowhere near the resources that Cashman’s Yankees have. There’s nothing wrong with trying to learn from what the A’s have done, or even improving on it.

There’s nothing wrong with embracing shifts, either, even if the early-season numbers said they have actually cost the Yankees three net runs (that wouldn’t have scored without shifts).

Seriously, why should defenders always stand in the traditional positions, when the numbers say that the batter at the plate almost never hits the ball there?

Change isn’t easy, and it’s why the Yankees have stopped shifting behind veteran starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, who wasn’t comfortable with it (just as the Rays don’t shift behind David Price, for the same reason). There are occasional grumbles from the Yankees’ pitching staff about the shifts, especially when a hit goes through a hole that would have traditionally been filled by the shortstop or second baseman.

It is a work in progress, but it’s a project that the Yankees are fully committed to, and are convinced will work. In a baseball world where shifts are increasing exponentially, they’re now one of the teams leading the way.

...The Yankees’ shifts come from data delivered by Fishman and David Grabiner, coordinated with major league coaching assistant Brett Weber and then with third-base coach Rob Thomson.

Repoz Posted: May 09, 2014 at 07:23 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4703267)
Shifts require the pitcher's cooperation. For a shift to work consistently, the pitcher has to be willing and able to throw pitches that encourage the hitter to hit the ball into the shift. It's a testimony to Maddon and Girardi that they aren't blindly wedded to "the numbers" and are prepared to take individual pitcher tendencies into account.

-- MWE
   2. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4703334)
Shifts require the pitcher's cooperation. For a shift to work consistently, the pitcher has to be willing and able to throw pitches that encourage the hitter to hit the ball into the shift.


Apparently teams are getting away from that. They've basically found that the batters are hitting balls to that spot even if you pitch them away from it - that if you have a pull shift on a guy and pitch him away, he's still likely to pull a ground ball. So the pitchers pitch the same way they normally would.
   3. Publius Publicola Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4703340)
“I don’t think there’s any doubt [Cashman] has always worshipped Billy Beane,” one former Cashman employee said, referring to the A’s general manager who was the star of Moneyball. “He’s so enthralled with Billy Beane, it’s unbelievable.”


In fact, I don't think it's an overstatement to say that Cashman has a mancrush on billy.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4703668)
are prepared to take individual pitcher tendencies into account.


There's a fine line between "tendencies" and "irrational resistance to data."

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dingbat_Charlie
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogAT&T Ad Showing First Woman In Major League Baseball Draws Strong Reactions
(292 - 10:20pm, May 28)
Last: Greg K

Newsblog5-28-2015 OMNICHATTER
(39 - 10:19pm, May 28)
Last: Biff, highly-regarded young guy

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - May 2015
(2812 - 10:17pm, May 28)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogOTP - May 2015: Jeb Bush would like to watch baseball with Teddy Roosevelt and Pitbull
(4511 - 10:14pm, May 28)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogOT: 2015 NHL Playoff thread
(569 - 10:13pm, May 28)
Last: Moses Taylor world tour 2015: Singapore

NewsblogVideo: Statcast: Bryant's 477-foot shot | MLB.com
(72 - 10:04pm, May 28)
Last: Hank G.

NewsblogFire Ben Cherington and John Farrell? That’s not going to happen - Sports - The Boston Globe
(42 - 10:04pm, May 28)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogBlue Jays can seize opportunity in weak AL East - Sportsnet.ca
(24 - 10:02pm, May 28)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogAdams might miss rest of season : Sports
(23 - 10:02pm, May 28)
Last: Ziggy

NewsblogRick Porcello is showing no signs of being an ace - Sports - The Boston Globe
(34 - 9:58pm, May 28)
Last: BillWallace

NewsblogIn Which Derek Norris is Blamed for Home Run Problems, Plight of Humankind | Padres Public
(10 - 9:47pm, May 28)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogHey, LA: Why the trade? | FOX Sports
(17 - 9:42pm, May 28)
Last: bfan

NewsblogGene Collier: When it comes to playing baseball, Kang needs no interpreter | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(10 - 9:39pm, May 28)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogAre RBIs a worthless statistic? Ask Rusty
(9 - 9:36pm, May 28)
Last: Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class

NewsblogJoe Kelly: Perennially an Adjustment Away | FanGraphs Baseball
(9 - 8:58pm, May 28)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

Page rendered in 0.1895 seconds
48 querie(s) executed